Burn After Reading (the moral of the story: Russians in government are much smarter than Americans in government)
The Matrix (I thought Keanu Reeves was super cool and the idea of us all being plugged in TOTALLY made sense and accounted for a lot of the “societal norms” that perplex me)
The Big Lebowski (I want to be the dude)
Moon (two words: thrilling, disturbing)
The Breakfast Club (Molly Ringwald was a cute face for the “retro” teenager but a totally unlikable snob in this film. The marked divide between social cliques “back then” was interesting.. I feel like those lines are a little more muddled and crossable now? and the film 16 Candles, by the way.. really? you’re really going to snub Ducky like that? Ruined it for me.. I was rooting for him the whole time.)
The Shining (it only made me love Jack more)
Princess Mononoake (simply beautiful, Hayao Miyazaki is my favorite anime director/producer for sure)
Spirited Away (best.anime.ever)
Cloverfield (it was pretty weird, and it might make you nauseous by the way it was filmed — handheld camera — but it had an interesting storyline and I enjoyed the thrilling “mini monsters” that popped up in the dark subway tunnel)
Rubber (..you just go with it)
and Fight Club.
I finished the summer semester at Jeff State Community College a few weeks ago and slipped into an easy fall semester. One class. Just one. It makes life more pleasant and manageable. I receive the satisfaction of feeling productive and working towards a “better future” while still having present moments to fritter away, make into memories and enjoy.
In-between the old semester and the new, I had three great pastimes: cooking and eating, listening to and playing music, and watching movies.
I already gave you an abbreviated list of some of the movies I’ve watched recently along with short comments on most of them, so in this post, I’ll be writing about my favorite movie that we watched over the summer (aside from The Dark Knight Rises, which is unquestionably the best movie of all time).
Fight Club had a huge impact on me. I started the movie on a Friday night at my friend’s house, fell asleep on her floor, and finished it the next evening at my apartment. I liked it this way, because I was able to digest and think over the first part of the movie before watching the second half (the first half was, in my opinion, the best).
I’ve never been in a physical fight, and I’ve only really witnessed one in person. I was attending public school the year that it happened, and it was 11th grade. I was friendly with everyone, but preferred to consider myself, as I still do today, friendless. I didn’t trust people, and I didn’t trust that the people who showed kindness to me actually had intentions of forming deep, surviving relationships with me, and so, while temporary bonds can be fun and frivolous, constant chatter can be amusing, I preferred investing my time and affection into books, writing, guitar, and my own personal Jesus.
I was in-between my fifth and sixth period classes one weekday afternoon at Brookwood highschool. I had a bottom row locker, which was always awkward for me since I had to wear long skirts; I feared, on a daily basis, that when I went to stand up, the skirt would get hooked on my shoe or gum (or something) and ride down my hips, falling to my ankles and exposing me in my granny panties to a cruel, intimidating, laughing world of angry, awful, hormonal, acne-faced teenagers.
So here I was, a few minutes before my history class, crouched down in front of my locker, a small figure in a blur of bodies and backpacks all squished together in the narrow, dimly lit hallway, the old, gray ceiling just looming over our heads, ready to fall, cave in, or just sit there, heavy and gloomy, the prison warden.. the bitch.
I deposited the books from my previous class into the locker and withdrew a green spiral notebook in their place, “history” doodled across the front in serious black ink. I closed the locker, raised myself into a standing position, and just as I turned to walk to class, it happened.
A boy was slammed into the top lockers beside mine. His arm hit my shoulder and I quickly backed out-of-the-way. A crowd formed instantly, boys shouting profanities, some girls joining in with them and others screaming out of fear. The two boys continued to fight, brutally. Their faces had contorted, and their eyes looked wild. One of them was my friend, Jason, a stoner and Satanist. The other guy was Corey, a popular athlete that I had little regard for. Blood was gushing out of Corey’s nose (the athlete) as the result of a successful punch from Jason (the Satanist). As I recall the visuals, they play slowly in my mind, and it seems like it lasted for hours, but in actuality, Coach Wilson, the tenth and eleventh grade science teacher, and Coach Hagler, the very good-looking english professor, had the fight broken up within a matter of seconds. I trembled a little as I walked to class, and when I saw my friend at lunch the next day, his eye swollen and his lip busted, I asked if he was okay.
“Fuck you.” That was all he said.
Okay, so we weren’t really friends, but I liked to consider him as being my friend. We always (incidentally) sat together at lunch, at the table where the rest of the nerd/skater/lesbian crowd sat, and as a missionary in a heathen land, I felt like it was my christian duty to show him friendship, compassion, and a true example of “purity.” I would have hated me, too.
Anyways, that was the only “fight” that I have ever witnessed.
So the movie.. Fight Club. I loved it. It was sort of difficult watching all of the fight scenes (especially when poor blondie’s face was just mutilated by Jack), but there wasn’t really anything so gory and disturbing that I had to close my eyes and wait for Chris to tell me that it was over. The message of the film and the twist in the plot (that I did not see coming at ALL) comforted and amazed me. It comforted me in the sense that I’m glad other people “out there” realize and despise how lost and stupefied the world is in its materialistic coma.
My favorite part of the movie:
How perfectly American life and culture was pinned.
Work. Desks. Horrible bosses (great movie also), disgruntled employees, and business trips on airplanes, involving small bags of peanuts, tiny packets of butter, mini water bottles, and single-serving cans of diet Pepsi, Sprite and Mountain Dew. Enter hotel room, there are individual bars of soap, one-time use toothbrushes, single-use shampoo bottles, etc.. our society is “use and go.” The intention, or dream, isn’t to leave something good in the world once you’ve left it — some improvement, advancement or gift — the intention (for most people) is to take what they need, have what they want, and milk every ounce of profit and happiness out of the world as possible.
Sure, we possess a certain kind of vague, frontal sympathy for the people surrounding us, but would we forfeit our own happiness for theirs? For a loved one, perhaps, our hearts are big enough that we can say “yes..” but what about for a stranger? And is there even merit in that, anyways — in sacrificing your health and wealth for another? Or is it a good thing to be indifferent? Is that how we survive? Our personal worth is determined by our status and our status is determined by our position at work, the school we go to, how good-looking we are or the neighborhood we live in.
Welcome.. this is America. Hi. And I’m sure it sucks everywhere else, too, so don’t get too optimistic about the idea of leaving and finding a better place. Maybe Antarctica.. maybe.. it isn’t very populated there. But I actually don’t even know if you’re allowed to live there. You probably aren’t. So there you go. Doomed.
Jack describes the typical person: you. I’m sorry, excuse me: You. The all-important You. You save all of your money and buy a nice couch.. You needed to have at least one nice couch. You put it in Your fifth-floor apartment-with-a-view and smile. It’s beautiful! You will have to save for a while longer before buying matching end tables, of course, and those designer lamp shades that let off a soft and subdued red glow are a little further down on the waiting list, but Your couch problem is taken care of. No matter what happens, You’ve got Your couch.
The list goes on. You get the tables. The lamps. Eventually, You buy some pretty kitchen ware. Dishes. A floating island. A baker’s rack. Then, the requests get bigger.. stainless steel appliances, a Macbook pro, 20,000 thread-count egyptian cotton sheets! The demands continue to multiply — cars, houses, vacations and vacation homes. The life. And in the end, You build this cozy “nest” that detains, roots and hides You; the things You once owned “now own You.” You’re swallowed. You’re stuck inside. And the sad part is, You don’t even realize that You are a legitimate PRISONER to Your things. Madness.
What is scary is the truth that I have found myself IN this mindset. Chris and I’s apartment is simple, and our furnishings are modest and scarce. We’ve always been okay with that, but we are admittedly looking forward to having a house of our own someday. A house with pretty, painted walls that allow one room of the house to flow into the next without being entirely similar and certainly without being discordant. There would be pretty, matching furniture, pretty dishes, pretty wooden and tile floors, and coordinated, balanced themes of natural wood and modern decor. Nice things. And I see it now: we were setting a trap. For ourselves.
Life, success, and happiness aren’t supposed to be bound up with these things. Things can make us happy, and that is totally okay.. but we shouldn’t feel unhappy without things, and I will never sacrifice experience and adventure for a rooted existence with “things.” Things shouldn’t be the goal, the height of your expectation, or the deepest desire within you. At least I don’t think so, and I’m pretty sure Tyler Durden would back me up on that.
Also, watching Tyler Durden burn up the credit card company buildings and destroy local coffee shops (along with other businesses and society “staples”) was sort of amusing. Something in me resounded with it.
I like the idea of the simple life.. not the American dream.
I want to live my life with my arms literally wide open.. not with my body all hunched over and bent out of shape, not with my arms hugged together, constantly carrying, worrying about and protecting my “things.”
See how burdening and limiting things can become?
Now.. if you have an extra, dark blue Camaro that you just don’t use..
🙂 Aun Aqui
Fundraising for The Children’s Hospital is a cause very near and dear to my heart. As some of you know, my brother Bobby passed away early this summer. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor when he was five years old, underwent multiple surgeries, endured painful treatments, spent 16 years in remission, and fought a losing battle with epilepsy. His life was difficult, full of limitations, discomfort and uncertainties, but he was always brave, always buoyant, and always so beautiful and special to me.
Throughout his entire life, one of Bobby’s favorite places to be at was the hospital — it’s weird, but it’s true; Bobby’s experience at The Children’s Hospital (as a child) was so positive and made such an impression on him that even after he had outgrown The Children’s Hospital, he continued loving his visits to the ER, clinics and doctors. Through the chemo, the radiation, the bone marrow transplant, and everything else painful and challenging that he underwent, Bobby always received the nurturing attention and gentle touch of hospital staff who truly cared and who truly made a difference in his and our family’s lives.
His experience, as my brother, made an impression on me: if Bobby, a child cancer patient, was able to smile through the surgeries and fight for his life because of the assistance and kindness of Children’s Hospital, I give my most sincere thanks and gratitude to such an establishment.
The Children’s Hospital forever has my support and my respect.
I’ve already decided to make a donation to The Children’s Hospital.
Now, I’d like to share that opportunity to make a difference.. with you!
Go here to donate!